Strength Basics

Getting stronger, fitter, and healthier by sticking to the basics. It's not rocket science, it's doing the simple stuff the right way. Strength-Basics updates every Monday, plus extra posts during the week.

Friday, August 14, 2009

PR Spreadsheet

One tool I use to track my progress is a PR spreadsheet.

Using Excel, I systematically listed every exercise I do by name. Then I listed the implement I use. A simple SORT command will put them in alphabetical order.

So I'd list say, Bench Press in one column and Dumbbell in the next, or Bench Press and then Barbell.

Next I listed reps - 1-15, 20, 25, 30, 40, 50. Under each rep, I list my PR for that lift. If I did it for more than one set, I note that - so 5 x 155 is a one-set PR, if I did 3 x 5 x 155 I'd list 155 (3x5) instead. You can use the Excel comment feature to list a date with the weight and sets and reps. You can bold your most important lifts, if you like.

It's a simple way to keep all of your lifts together.

Amusingly, mine is somewhat of a mine of junk, too, as I listed everything I ever did. I used to do triceps kickbacks, so they are in there, right by the rolling triceps extensions I do now. Those upright rows I used to do? Listed. Many of them are badly out of date. You might choose to prune yours, or maintain it as an aggregate historical record.

I highly recommend using a spreadsheet like this to track your lifts. It makes your progress viewable at a glance, and it's easy to check what your best lift was when you are setting your goals for the next workout or next cycle.


  1. Peter, Just found your blog. Which is incidently full of great tips for strength and fitness. I myself am like you - a strength training enthuasiast into DIY fitness, grip strength, feats of strength and kettlebells and anything that isn't easy I suppose!
    Got here through your gluteham raise article, which is on my list of things to make!
    Watch this space. Cheers

  2. Rob, thanks for posting. Those are some pretty sick lifts you've got on yours! 60kg kettlebell...geez, the 24kg gives me trouble yet. That's inspirational.

  3. Thanks Peter!
    I'll put up a link on my blog so people can find you!

    Cheers Rob


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